First impressions go a long way in ballroom dancing. What you wear on the dance floor is as much about functionality as it is about style.
For instance, a lot of competitive ballroom dancing judges will take in your appearance before marking you on your talent.
Of course, you can put on a suit or wear a particularly beautiful dress, but if you are not wearing the right kind of ballroom dancing shoes, then you are most definitely in trouble.
After all, nothing involves your feet as much as a dance performance, ballroom or otherwise. And if you are thinking to sign up for ballroom dancing lessons, then learning a little about the various kinds of shoes for ballroom dancing is very important.
Here’s what you need to know.
Ballroom Dancing Shoes for Women
There are a wide variety of ballroom dancing shoes.
You will see female dancers wearing closed-toe shoes that have a two-inch feel. Closed-toe heels are usually made of very strong material and are not suitable for Latin or Rhythmic ballroom dancing.
Compared to these closed-toe shoes, the Latin dancing shoes carry straps and have an open toe. The heel tends to be at least three inches long. The heel is a lot less strong in these shoes, but they have a flexible sole.
Latin dancing shoes are suitable for beginners in Latin, Rhythm, Standard, and Smooth dancing. Smooth shoes are also closed-toe and have a short heel of two or two and a half inches.
This shoe has the strong heel of the closed-toe shoes mentioned earlier, but it comes with a more flexible sole, like that of Latin shoes.
Ballroom Dancing Shoes for Men
Men usually wear standard leather footwear for ballroom dancing.
These shoes are made of black leather and have a 1-inch heel.
They are more suitable for taking forward steps, but you might not be able to point your foot as easily.
If you are a beginner in ballroom dancing, then these will work well for you as you are used to wearing them and your feet won’t be immediately transported into a foreign environment.
Comfort is very important in the beginning stages of ballroom dancing and these shoes do well in that department. You can also wear them during the initial stages of Latin or Rhythm ballroom dancing competitions.
Unlike standard leather shoes, Latin shoes are designed to offer you more flexibility. They allow you to point your toe and do not have a rigid sole. They also come with a heel that may take some getting used to.
Men can also wear flat shoes with no heels during private dance lessons. These make it easier for you to move your feet while dancing.
Most men prefer wearing a dress shoe with a rounded toe and a lace up. Shoes having square toes can be very inconvenient for ballroom dancing.
They are also a bit clunky. You can’t wear slip-on shoes as well since these will just keep sliding off while you dance.
What Should You Keep In Mind?
A good pair of dancing shoes must be shock-absorbent. They must also provide strong arch support and have firm padding. You will also have to consider the shape of your feet.
Dancers with wide feet may not be very comfortable wearing closed-toe shoes, which can hinder their feet movement. Above all, the material used is also very important.
You don’t want to buy a shoe that wears out within a few weeks of use.
Make sure you buy shoes from a reputed brand so that they last longer. Pricing tends to vary according to the quality and brand associated with dancing shoes.
Some dancing shoes also have embellished designs, which can cause the price to go up. For the most part, you should look to buy shoes that can have their sole repaired or replaced.
This will save you a lot of money in the long run. Make sure that you do not wear your dance shoes when you are not dancing as well.
It’s preferable to wear your normal shoes when you are on your way to class and simply strap on your dance shoes once you are in the studio.
You can buy a shoe bag for carrying your shoes like most other dancers.
To Sum It Up
A good pair of ballroom dancing shoes will keep your feet comfortable and will add to your appearance.
When choosing the right kind of shoes for ballroom dancing, you must also remember to take care of your dance shoes so that they last longer.
As you go up the ladder in ballroom dancing, you will automatically learn more about high-quality brands and the kind of shoes that are suitable for a certain dancing style.